A recent survey by Kyodo News reveals skepticism ahead of the Japanese public ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The survey, which was conducted last weekend [February 6 & 7] revealed the following:
- 47.1% think the Olympics and Paralympics should be postponed
- 35.2% think the games should be canceled
- 14.5% think the games should go on as planned
These numbers show a continued decline in national interest in hosting from a month ago where 80% of Japanese were in favor of canceling or postponing the Games.
The survey further found that if the Games go ahead, 43.1% of respondents want them to go ahead without spectators while 49.6% support having limits to the number of fans allowed at each venue.
The most recent survey was conducted shortly after sexist remarks from Yoshiro Mori, the now-former head of the Tokyo Olympics. After initially saying he would not resign his position, Mori stepped down this week. The same survey revealed that 59.9% of respondents felt that the 83-year old former Prime Minister was “not qualified” to serve in the role. Only 6.8% of those surveyed thought he was “qualified,” while 32.8% were unable to say whether he is qualified or not.
The survey does reflect that a majority of Japanese are in favor of the games still happening, though to which extent is uncertain. A decision in regard to allowing fans at the events has not been made. Mori commented in January that a decision would be made in February or March. Permitting spectators at the games, even in a limited capacity, should bring some much-needed optimism toward the games.
Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to begin in just over five months, on July 23. The traditional Olympic torch relay is scheduled to begin on March 25. There is hope that the relay and upcoming Olympic trials events throughout the world will result in new enthusiasm from the Japanese.
If only domestic fans are invited to watch, the lack of domestic support for the Games could hurt ticket sales for the events.
The survey, covering 703 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,326 mobile phone numbers, yielded responses from 510 and 513 people, respectively.
According to The New York Times, Japan currently has 411,659 total coronavirus cases with a 7-day daily average of 2,091. Japan has had 6,854 deaths with a 7-day daily average of 86.6. Japan has yet to start vaccinations, though they plan to do so next week.